ONITSHA—FORMER Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, kicked against the indiscriminate award of titles by the Catholic Church to her members, describing it as being at variance with the mission of the Church, which he described as leading people to holiness.
Obi spoke during the pastoral visit of the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor at the Shanahan Hall of the Basilica of the most Holy Trinity, Onitsha. Speaking, Obi said even though the Church is in the world, she must not get consumed by the ways of the world, thus forgetting her primary mission.
Obi, who is a Papal Knight, and who recently rejected the request to be made a Duke of the Awka Diocese, said he did not need titles to support the work of God.
Insisting that the Church must retain it pious orientation, Obi said: “The Church already has many pious societies like St. Vincent de Paul, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, St. Jude, among others.
In line with the salvific mission of the Church, they aid our spiritual growth. But today, our people delight in creating one title or the other for reasons other than holiness, which appears not to be in sync with the mission of the Church.
I am aware that the permit of the Holy See is needed to establish Orders in the Church and that the permission of the Episcopacy, acting in communion with the Holy See, is required for acts within the Dioceses.
Now, what we witness is the creation of one title or the other such as “Duke,” “ Ide,” “Ambassador.” Some are designed to attract support for the Church, but I believe that whoever earnestly desires to support God’s work does not need a title to do so.
Most often, this ends up creating division among the people of God.” Speaking on the assistance towards the building of Peter University by Awka Diocese, Obi assured that he would contribute his own quota, but insisted he would not want his name inscribed anywhere, as suggested by some people, on the reason that giving for God’s work should not be advertised.